The Vista has a new spot for those looking for healthy beverage options.
Kayla Smith opened Vista Nutrition at 504 Gervais St. after she realized she could not find healthy smoothies and juices that were convenient for her to reach in Columbia.
"I used to work downtown and had two babies back to back and I wanted to get healthy," Smith said. "I started to drink a bunch of smoothies and shakes but there weren’t many options downtown for that. Then COVID hit and I got laid off and I kind of just took a leap of faith and opened it."
Smith said she also wanted to offer a positive space for Columbia's young people to gather. "There’s a lot of bars and that scene for the college crowd, but I know not everyone partakes in that," she said. "I wanted this to be somewhere for the college students to hang out that’s a positive environment."
Current menu items at Vista Nutrition include a variety of shakes in flavors like Bahama breeze, chocolate caramel cheesecake, funfetti, lemon shortie, samoa, very berry day and more. Smith also serves "loaded teas" which include healthy additives like vitamin C, B12, aloe and others. She said she is continuing to expand the menu to add even more health-conscious options like probiotics and immunity boosters.
Store hours are Mondays through Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Fridays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Smith said the hours are tentative and plans to create a concrete set of hours within the next few weeks.
Smith said her first week of business has been more successful than she imagined.
"We really want to thank the community, we have had an unbelievable turnout, so much positivity from other businesses. I never thought we’d get busy this fast, I’m so thankful," she said. "We want to have something for everybody. My vision is never to have a staff running it and me just come by sometimes, I'll be there pretty much every day."